UNITED STATES TRADE REPRESENTATIVE
www.ustr.gov Washington, D.C. 20508 202-395-3230
For Immediate Release Contact: Roya Stephens
July 13, 2016 RStephens@ustr.eop.gov
United States Challenges China's Export Duties on Nine Key Raw Materials to Level Playing Field for American Manufacturers
Washington, D.C. - USTR Michael Froman announced today that the United States has launched a new trade enforcement action against the People's Republic of China at the World Trade Organization concerning China's export duties on nine different raw materials. When China joined the WTO, China agreed to eliminate its export duties on these products, but it has failed to follow through on this commitment. Today's action is the 13th trade enforcement case the Obama Administration has launched against China at the WTO - more than any other WTO country over the same period. The US has won every case that has been decided so far.
The export duties China imposes provide substantial competitive advantages for Chinese manufacturers by making them more expensive for US manufacturers that rely on these raw materials to produce their downstream goods. These nine raw materials - antimony, cobalt, copper, graphite, lead, magnesia, talc, tantalum, and tin - are key inputs into high-value Made-in-America products in vital industrial sectors, including aerospace, automotive, electronics, and chemicals. China's export duties provide an unfair competitive advantage to China at the expense of American workers and manufacturers.
Later today, at the Port of San Diego, Vice President Biden will deliver remarks highlighting today's trade enforcement action and the Administration's aggressive record on trade enforcement. "It all comes down to fair competition-a notion that is fundamental to who we are as Americans," Vice President Biden will say in his remarks. "And one of the most important ways we have done that is by enforcing our trade laws-more aggressively than any previous Administration in history.
"These duties are China's attempt to game the system so that raw materials are cheaper for their manufacturers and more expensive for ours," said Ambassador Froman. "This scheme is directly at odds with WTO commitments China has made, and as we've shown time and again, we will hold them accountable to their commitments. This case is part of the Administration's continuing work to level playing field for American workers and manufacturers in order to grow our economy and support quality jobs here at home."
China's export duties on these raw materials, which range from 5 to 20 percent ad valorem, disadvantage US producers by raising the prices of these raw materials for downstream manufacturers outside of China, while lowering the prices paid by China's manufacturers that use these same raw materials. These Chinese manufacturers are able to manufacture lower-priced goods using these unfairly priced raw materials, creating an uneven playing field for US competitors. In this way, China's export duties create pressures on US and other non-Chinese producers to shift production operations, technologies, and jobs to China.
Today's action continues the Administration's strong record of enforcing US rights under our trade agreements. Since 2009, the Administration has brought 22 enforcement actions (including this one) at the WTO, and won every single one decided thus far. Since 2015, USTR has announced the following enforcement victories:
* In April 2016, China signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the United States in which China agreed to take specific actions that would remove all the WTO-inconsistent elements of its "Demonstration Bases-Common Service Platform" export subsidy program. The United States initiated a WTO challenge against the program because China was providing prohibited export subsidies through "Common Service Platforms" to manufacturers and producers across seven economic sectors and dozens of sub-sectors located in more than one hundred and fifty industrial clusters throughout China known as "Demonstration Bases," thereby creating unfair competition for American workers and businesses.
* In February 2016, a WTO panel found in favor of the United States in a dispute challenging India's "localization" rules discriminating against imported solar cells and modules under India"s National Solar Mission. The WTO panel agreed with the United States that India's domestic content requirements discriminate against U.S. solar cells and modules by requiring solar power developers to use Indian-manufactured cells and modules, in breach of international trade rules. (India's appeal of the panel report is pending.)
* In July 2015, the United States prevailed in a WTO challenge to China's compliance actions following WTO findings in 2012 that China's duties on high-tech steel were inconsistent with WTO rules. Those WTO-inconsistent duties contributed to over $250 million in annual export losses for American steel exporters. The U.S. compliance challenge was the first time any WTO Member had initiated a WTO proceeding to challenge a claim by China that it had complied with adverse WTO findings.
* In June 2015, the WTO found in favor of the United States in a dispute challenging India?s ban on various U.S. agricultural products - such as poultry meat, eggs, and live pigs - allegedly to protect against avian influenza. The WTO agreed with the United States that India's ban breached numerous international trade rules, including because it was imposed without sufficient scientific evidence and was not based on international standards, which confirm that importing U.S. products is safe.
* In January 2015, the WTO found that Argentina's import licensing requirements and other import restrictions breach international trade rules. These restrictions potentially affect billions of dollars in U.S. exports each year, including exports of energy products, electronics and machinery, aerospace equipment, pharmaceuticals, precision instruments, medical devices, motor vehicle parts, and agricultural products.
Details: Jones, Ashley A. EOP/USTR Meredith_A_Jones@ustr.eop.gov
FSMA to Update Food Facility Registration
US Food & Drug Admin. - July 13, 2016
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today finalized a rule as part of the implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) to improve the accuracy of the food facility registration database. The Amendments to Registration of Food Facilities final rule updates FDA's food facility registration requirements to better protect public health by requiring additional registration information that will improve the accuracy of the food facility registration database for facilities both in the United States and abroad. This final rule will support the FDA's efforts to act quickly in response to food-related emergencies and will help the FDA to use its inspectional resources more efficiently.
Food facilities that manufacture/process, pack or hold food for consumption in the United States are required to register with the FDA, and this final rule adds new provisions to the current regulations to codify certain provisions of FSMA that were self-implementing and effective upon enactment of FSMA. Those provisions include the requirement of an email address for registration, required renewal of registration every two years, and that all food facility registrations must contain an assurance that the FDA will be permitted to inspect the facility at the times and in the manner permitted by the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.
In addition, the final rule adds certain new requirements that will improve the food facility registration system. All food facility registrations are required to be submitted to the FDA electronically, although this requirement does not take effect until January 4, 2020.
Registrations are now required to contain the type of activity conducted at the facility for each food product category. This will be required when the final rule becomes effective on July 14, 2016, which is prior to the October-December 2016 registration renewal period. Finally, beginning October 1, 2020, food facilities will need to provide a unique facility identifier (UFI) as part of the registration process.
The final rule also amends the definition of a retail food establishment in a way that expands the number of establishments that are considered retail food establishments, and that are therefore not required to register with the FDA as food facilities. However, all food establishments, including retail food establishments, continue to have a responsibility to ensure their food is safe. The FDA is committed to working cooperatively with the food industry to facilitate implementation of these requirements.
For Additional Information:
* Federal Register Notice for the Amendments to Registration of Food Facilities
* Final Rule: Amendments to Registration of Food Facilities
* FAQs on FSMA
* FSMA Webinar: Final Rule under FSMA to Update Food Facility Registration
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